We developed four exciting and beautiful Android apps that teach kids math and other essential skills through games, allow parents to lock certain apps on the device, and encourage physical activities by monitoring walks and integrating incentives.
In the fall Prof. Chen offered a project course on developing Android apps, to prepare our students on programming skills for the fast-moving mobile industry. The course attracted many interests though eventually accommodated 15 undergraduate and 14 graduate students, due to the class size limitation. These students formed 4 teams, each working on a different group project. The first half of the course covered the basics of the Android programming, and then students started to work on their projects for about 10 weeks.To meet the challenges of the diverse student background, each project group consisted of both graduate and undergraduate students and had at least one person who did Android programming before and owned an Android device.
The goal of the group project is to deliver a non-trivial app by the end of the semester. To manage the project development, the class adopted a min-version of agile programming method that had three project iterations, each lasting 3-4 weeks. The idea was to make a workable app first and then grow it more feature-rich incrementally. For each iteration, the project group must specify clear goals and the tasks to be completed and who was responsible for which task, and finally deliver twice-a-week meeting minutes, daily progress "burn-down" charts, and a workable demo at the end of each iteration.
Through this strict software engineering process and the peer support of the groups, the students successfully completed four exciting projects with the theme of "doing good to society" as the pro-social apps. YouMath team produced a fun sports game that teaches kids math skills with different difficulty levels. ThumbsUp took a different approach educating kids by creating a series of mini-games that tests math, logic, and memory skills. ParentGuard team aimed to help parents block certain apps on their kids' device so they can ban age-inappropriate apps and won't get surprising bills. Tractivity team went after the goal of encouraging people to be more physically active by developing an algorithm to monitor the number of steps the user has taken (leveraging the built-in accelerometer) and integrating incentives, such as goals, achievements, and virtual walks.
The four fantastic teams are listed below, and more information about these projects (presentation, video demo, and apk files) can be found by exploring their own page (left sidebar).
Team: Chris Dietsch, Angelo Gamarra, Nick Ver Voort, James Dalphond, Reed Spool, Jwalin Pandya, Chris Adoretti.
Team: Caleb Brandon, Chris Adler, Sunil B. Thammaiah, Elad Shahar, Prathiba Dyavegowda, Michael Feole, Anthony Scoppa, and Paul Gendreau.
Team: Mike Coates, Xin Ming, Xiaoxiao Ma, Bo Yan, Mike Staub, Drew Morrissey, Mike Young, Xu Ye, Yue Zhang.
Team: Evan Mulawski, Ben Chevoor, Mark Field, Chunhui Zhang.